Members of the Technical Working Group constituted by the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) for the use and management of germplasm for improved crop production, during their inaugural meeting at NACGRAB office, Ibadan, recently.

THE National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), in collaboration with Global Crop Diversity Trust, have begun move to improve the use and management of germplasm collections through multi-stakeholder processes with the inauguration of Germplasm Users Group (GUG) for sorghum, cowpea and other crops with relevance to climate change resilience.

The users engagement is an innovative concept for driving developmental activities using participatory approaches and is the adopted policy thrust of the Seed for Resilience project (S4R) in Nigeria.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune shortly after the inaugural meeting of the Technical Working Group, Director and Chief Executive Officer, NACGRAB, who is also the Director and Curator of the group, Dr Sunday Aladele, noted that:”The purpose of this gathering here today is for NACGRAB to expose the germplasm that is being kept in genebank to farmers.

“The meeting held today had in attendance a group of technical people that will be able to advice on the best way to approach farmers and to be able to guide farmers in selecting the right variety for cultivation.

“Also, as a result of this project, the country stand a chance of being able to have varieties that will be able to mitigate climate change. As you are aware that this year, we have more rain than ever, next year, the reverse may be the case but what are the varieties that will be able to survive under this changing environment such as high temperature, sometimes flooding. We need varieties and the genebank has array of varieties that can mitigate climate change.”

While highlighting the mandates of the Technical Working Group, Head of Biotechnology, NACGRAB, Dr Mrs Abisoye Ojo, said the group is expected to develop the concept of GUGs for the working crops and other crops, fast track interaction and exchange of knowledge among the users group, work up strategy for genfer reponsiveness in order to expand user engagement activities.

Also, the group would be making useful technical recommendations on the implementation of GUG activities, further guide on user-group membership, priotise activities and suggest pertinent communication channels. It is also expected of the group to advise on seed processing and distribution to farmers as well as advise on value addition of harvested crops.

Representative of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), in Oyo State, Mr Olumide Ayinla, while speaking during the meeting noted that there is the need for NACGRAB to bring together all the targeted farmers in a place and share information with them. “If you pick few of them for knowledge sharing, they will not share the knowledge acquired with their fellow farmers.” He said.

NACGRAB, CropTrust move to boost use, management of germplasm collections for crops production